Increased patrols a result of incident

Friday, October 5, 2007

For a while, area residents may see more Brazil Police Department patrolmen around city schools.

On Thursday, BPD Capt. Dave Archer confirmed the patrolling issue to The Brazil Times after children at Eastside Elementary School were approached by a person during school hours Wednesday.

"We are doing extra patrols around the schools," Archer said.

According to Eastside Secretary Regina Paullus, four students witnessed a man attempting to wave them over during recess hours Wednesday.

The person stood behind the fence by the school playground and asked the group of girls if they would come over.

"They shook their heads no," Paullus said.

The instance took place at the end of recess and the group of girls immediately ran straight into the school building, according to Paullus.

The girls then went to the cafeteria and approached Eastside Title 1 Coordinator Annie Parr, who was on cafeteria supervision at the time.

"She brought the girls into the office and we talked to each of them individually," Paullus said. "Then we called the police."

Paullus said Archer also spoke to each of the girls that were approached.

"These are bright kids," he said. "All of them had the same description. They did exactly what they should have done."

Archer said the group of girls gave a description of a tall male with long, shoulder-length black hair. They said the man had a full beard to his chest and wore all black clothing. In addition, Archer said the girls told him he was smoking a cigar.

"The girls gave a very good description of the person," Paullus said.

After speaking with the children, Paullus said Archer suggested the school send home a letter to all parents.

Eastside Principal Mary Ray put together a letter, but was out of the office Thursday.

The unidentified person was on foot, but area residents later informed police they saw a man fitting the description on a bicycle.

"We're still looking for anyone that fits that description," Archer said. "I'm thinking he's probably somebody local."

Paullus said parents of children that attend Eastside are very good about monitoring what is going on while they are preparing to pick up their children.

"Once in a while, you'll have a strange car," she said. "Our parents also keep track. We have a pretty good system."

For example, she said a parent notified the school about a person on a bicycle nearly two weeks ago.

However, Archer said that was checked out and that particular person did not fit the description given to police following the incident.

"Our local schools do real good job of monitoring the kids," he said.

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